Apr
19
2011

My Vacation Reading and Where We’re Headed

Last week my wife and spent the week disconnected from the world, on a boat, cruising around the western Caribbean.  In between snorkeling in Honduras and checking out Mayan ruins in Mexico the down time allowed me to catch up on my reading.

My initial intent was for my reading to be strictly for fun, but as I finished the latest Tom Clancy and other fun reads, I found myself being drawn into three other books that I want to share my thoughts on over the next week or two.  Here are the books that I read:

Growing a Farmer: How I Learned to Live Off the Land.  The story of a restaurant owner turned farmer in the Seattle area.  While this is not a book you will hear about on the church conference circuit, I could not help but find a great deal of applications and thoughts that transfer into the church world.  Kurt Timmermeister talks a great deal about why he has fallen in love with his craft and how he is a steward of the land that he farms.  I greatly appreciated hearing his heart throughout the book.

Who Stole My Church: What to Do When the Church You Love Tries to Enter the 21st Century. Gordon MacDonald wrote this book four years ago to deal with the generational difficulties that seem to be plaguing the church of late.  MacDonald brings a love of both sides and a desire to see the church unify itself in spite of some very large generational differences that we are finding ourselves struggling through.  Reading this book my heart continued to break for the generational rifts in the church and how we seem to miss each other when we share our hearts for the church.  I also came away with the thought that every pastor and seminary student of my generation or younger needs to read this book.

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived. I read it.  Earlier I wrote about the conversations that were taking place about this book.  As I read what Rob Bell had to share I saw an extension of the generational rift that MacDonald talks about above.  I see two different languages causing a great deal of confusion and mistrust between two different mindsets: the modern and postmodern.  I read Love Wins not as a theology text, not as a guide to what we are to believe, but as a book written with a pastor’s heart to help people wrestle through what is probably the most difficult question that the rising generations are dealing with when it comes to what Christians believe (and what they say they believe).  I look forward to sharing my thoughts on this book in the days to come.

I look forward to walking through my thoughts and learnings from each of these books in the days to come.

What book have you recently read that has been shaping YOUR thinking?

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About the Author: Matt Steen

I love Jesus, Theresa (my wife), the Redskins & Capitals, and am currently living in Waco, Texas where I am studying the finer points of BBQ (while working on my MDiv and MBA at Baylor University). When not studying, I serve church leaders through MinistryBriefing.com and am the Director of Connections for Harris Creek Baptist Church's Downtown Campus.